The governor’s stay-at-home order was set to expire this Monday, but yesterday he extended it to May 18, while allowing more retail businesses to open with restrictions. The main change is that retail and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. The governor indicates this will allow up to 30,000 more Minnesotans back to work.
This announcement was not the news many Minnesotans were hoping to receive. People in our state have been ordered to stay at home and businesses have been forced to close their doors for six weeks now.
During this time, we have flattened the curve and learned much about how to safely open up our state. I think many people anticipated a greater share of the stay-at-home restrictions would be lifted and people were hoping for relief. Instead, we are facing weeks more of families and businesses being in shutdown mode and growing concern for the damage this may bring.
At the very least, our Main Street businesses deserve the same amount of trust as their big competitors have received in being able to continue welcoming foot traffic.
House Republicans are in constant contact with employees, employers, agencies, and the governor's office making real efforts to help Minnesota businesses safely reopen their doors. And, all House Republicans voted again earlier this week to allow the legislature to work with the governor on future actions to fight COVID-19 and let businesses safely reopen their doors so people can get back to work. Unfortunately, that proposal once again was blocked.
While there was news regarding some stay-at-home restrictions, we also were hoping for modifications of the executive order on elective medical procedures. Dozens of House and Senate Republicans sent a letter to the governor earlier this week, asking him to lift restrictions on health care providers. We apparently will have to wait a little longer for more on that important subject, but here is a way you can provide input:
The Minnesota Department of Health has assembled draft guidance that will help inform the next steps. Draft guidance will be available online through noon Saturday (May 2) to solicit feedback and input before final guidance is issued. The draft guidance and public comment survey can be accessed here.
Action on processing plants
With the closure of multiple meat processing plants in Minnesota and across the Midwest halting production, a number of Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to President Trump urging immediate action to prevent major disruptions to our food supply, farm bankruptcies, job losses, and devastating impacts on rural economies that are already struggling. The president issued an order late Tuesday compelling plants to re-open. Here is more on that.
The forecast calls for beautiful weather this weekend, so I hope you are able to enjoy some warm sunshine. Please stay in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.